Are you and any of your grandkids traveling together by car this year? Would you like to hear about something cool we learned about last year? (And by cool I mean it both ways – stupendous and cooling off in the heat). It will be fun for all and your grandkids will love you even MORE than they already do!
Did you know that many hotels across the U.S. now have WATER PARKS instead of or in addition to swimming pools! I had NEVER heard of this before but my grandkids test-drove several a few months back and for the most part – LOVED THEM.
Now I have to warn you, they are not all "created equally!" My expert reviewers (my grandkids ), turned thumbs down on one they visited because itCut, unavailable was too "little kidsy." But overall, they really enjoyed them.
Our personal favorite, with several locations including one not too far from where we live, is Great Wolf Lodge. This place is AWESOME! Plenty of lovely rooms, a HUGE water park that is ALWAYS warm enough – even for this grandma who freezes easily in water, and has a ton of fun things to do. That's the only one I'm personally familiar with and I LOVED the three days I got to spend there with my grandkids. It is, however, one of the most expensive options available. Well worth it for a specific water park vacation, we think. Their lifeguards are AWESOME and watching carefully and constantly. But if you are just adding this on for a cross country trip it might put you over your budget.
However, there are plenty of other choices that, while on a smaller scale, have plenty of fun at the same price as many other similar options with just a pool. For example:
- Hampton Inn has several locations with water parks – you can usually discover them when reading through the amenities offered
- The IHG family of hotels (which includes one of my personal faves – Holiday Inn Express), has several water parks in the U.S. (as well as Canada and overseas).
- About.com has a list of many by state
When dear friends traveled cross country, they would figure out where they expected to be in the evening. Then they would look up all the hotels in the area and look for ones that had water parks. Even in smaller areas, they were often able to find such a hotel and get a room for that night. The prices were frequently the same as other hotels with swimming pools. Once in a while, you would find a hotel that charged extra for the water park (one example was $6 per swimmer on the weekdays and $8 on the weekends) but that was the exception rather than the rule. If you travel without your computer, it would probably be easiest to plan out your route in advance at home, look up all the hotels with water parks in the area and make a list with them and their phone numbers.
For that matter, if possible, it's still wise to plan ahead and even make reservations early – at least first thing in the morning, if not a few days/weeks in advance. As summer travel heats up, rooms might be harder to find. But wouldn't it be fun, after a long day of driving and sight-seeing, to go relax in a sauna type warm and relaxing atmosphere while watching the grandkids have a blast on ginormous slides. Of course, after a couple of days, a traditional swimming pool may be quite a good "finisher" and less crowded.
Have you and your grandkids ever heard of this? Or tried it out? What did you think? Anyplace y'all would recommend? We'd love to hear! And don't forget to check out yesterday's article, "Senior Travel Tips For Safe Summer Fun."
P.S. Thank you so much for your comments. I enjoy them very much and read each one. I also love the grand ideas so many of you share that help and encourage other readers. Thank you.